The Kansas City Chiefs will have the benefit of playing a shorthanded Denver team next week as several Broncos suffered injuries on Sunday against the Chargers. Most notably, starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a shin injury during the game.
Nine players were listed on Denver’s injury report heading into Week 12, with five of the hurt players listed as doubtful or questionable on Friday. Starting defensive end Shelby Harris and tackle Bobby Massie were both ruled out ahead of the matchup this week. Their absences weren’t too difficult to overcome the Broncos in their win over Los Angeles.
The list of injuries for Denver expanded in the effort too, with starting running back Melvin Gordon leaving the game, also starting guard Dalton Risner and starting left tackle Calvin Anderson knocked out of the game. Along with Bridgewater and the others listed out with injury designations before Sunday’s matchup, these players constitute six missing starters in all phases of the game for Denver.
Should any of those absences persist into Week 13, it could prove difficult for the Chiefs’ AFC West rival to overcome. Bridgewater and Gordon eventually returned to the game, but both offensive linemen were ruled out with their injuries. With Garrett Bolles on injured reserve, the Broncos could be down to their third-string left tackle in Week 13.
This meeting between Kansas City and Denver will be the team’s first tilt of the season, and the Broncos are going to be at a huge disadvantage in their attempt to take control of the AFC West. The Chiefs would be a tough team for Denver to beat even if they were at full strength, and their losing streak dating back to 2015 could be extended if some of their key contributors aren’t able to return before Sunday.
Kansas City has a huge opportunity to extend its divisional lead if the Broncos remain as hurt as their injury report suggests they’ll be, and could put themselves two games up in the standings with just five games remaining if they win. Andy Reid is one of the best coaches of all time coming off the bye week, and he is sure to do everything in his power to capitalize on his opponent being down so many players with the fate of the season in the balance.
AFC Playoff Picture: Chiefs remain No. 4 seed after Week 12